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Lighting FAQ + Glossary

Questions about sizing your light + fixture length?

Our Schoolhouse 101 blog post is a great resource for defining + determining your fixture length.
If you still have questions, contact Customer Support. We’re here to help!

 

LIGHTING FAQ

What is a canopy?

A canopy is the part of the light fixture that attaches to the ceiling or wall and covers the electrical junction box.

 

What is a fitter?

A fitter is the lip-shaped part of the shade that slips into the fixture’s shade holder and is held in place by fitter screws. Common fitter diameters are 2.25", 4" and 6". The size of the fitter and shade holder are the determining factors when pairing fixtures with shades.

 

What is Damp Rating?

A lot of our fixtures are perfect for porches and other sheltered areas. Some building codes require that a fixture have a UL Damp Rating when used outside or in a high humidity location such as a bathroom or kitchen. Damp-rated fixtures should not be used in areas that are directly exposed to water whether it be rain, snow, or shower spray. Products that are damp-rated say “Suitable for Damp Locations” on their product page under Product Details.

 

What is a GU24 Fluorescent Socket?

This option replaces the standard screw mount socket with a permeant 2-pin socket. This will satisfy most energy-efficient lighting codes and/or tax-incentive requirements, such as California's Title 24.
Please note that incandescent or specialty light bulbs cannot be used with this option.

 

What is an Integrated LED fixture?

Integrated fixtures are built with an LED engine built into them, so you’ll never have to worry about purchasing or replacing the bulb. Installation is the same as any other fixture, only this time the light source is built into the fixture. LED Engine’s not only reduces energy costs, they also last around 22+ years.

 

Can I install my fixtures outside?

Some of our fixtures (like the Factory Modern No. 6 Outdoor Sconce) are perfect for being mounted directly exposed to the elements. Lights that are suitable for this use say “Suitable for Damp Locations, Including Wet Locations” on their product page under Product Details.

 

Can I order a fixture with custom measurements?

At this time, we do not offer custom made lengths. However, since our lights are made-to-order many of our pendants and chandeliers allow you to choose from a broad range of lengths.

 

Do you offer specialty switch options on your fixtures?

If we can install a rotary switch or pull chain, you will see a “Select Switch” option on the fixture’s product page.

Can your fixtures accommodate vaulted ceilings?

Yes! If we can vault a fixture, you will see a “Select Vaulted” option on the fixture’s product page.

How do I install my fixture?

We recommend that a licensed electrician install our light fixtures to ensure the safety of your home and the life of your fixture. Improperly installed light fixtures may create a fire hazard. All of our fixtures are designed for use in a 120-volt fused circuit and are intended for interior use, unless ordered, built and labeled for damp locations. Schoolhouse Electric Co. cannot be held accountable for improperly installed fixtures or fixtures paired with the wrong size or wattage of light bulb.

 

How do I care for my fixture?

To keep your fixtures looking their best, take special care not to scrape, gouge or scratch the finish of your fixture during installation. Once installed, our fixtures should only require a light dusting to stay beautiful. If you find yourself needing to clean your fixture, use only the mildest soaps, softest cloths and gentle pressure. Nickel finishes may develop a soft whitish patina over time that is easily removed with mild soap and water, an approved metal polishing cleaner such as Never Dull, or ammonia.

Like our fixtures, glass shades should only require an occasional dusting and washing if necessary. Opal, Crystal Etched and Opal Etched glass shades can be washed with warm water, mild dish soap and a soft cloth. Extra care must be taken when washing art glass, hand-painted and especially decorated shades as they may scratch with abrasive cleaners.

 

Will your fixtures work with my antique shades?

They might but since antique shades were typically hand blown, variation in size could be an issue. Please give us a call or stop into one of our stores to chat with our sales team about your specific fixture.

 

Can I use LED bulbs in Schoolhouse fixtures?

Definitely. We love high efficiency bulbs. They last longer, conserve energy, and save money.

 

Do your lights carry the CSA approval for the Canadian market?

Yes, they do. Our damp rating listings also cover the Canadian market. More information, such as wattage restrictions, can be found on each light’s product page.

Do your lights work internationally?

Though not European Union (EU) listed, our lights are compatible with both the US 120-volt and the EU 220-volt systems.

We use E-26 sockets, which are slightly shorter than the E-27 socket used in Europe. This means that the threaded base of bulbs intended for E-27 sockets will extend slightly beyond the edge of our sockets. Our plug-in fixtures are manufactured with Type A plugs and cannot be modified to meet non-compatible electrical outlets. The bulbs we sell are not compatible with the 220-volt system.

 

GLOSSARY


Art Deco

"Art Deco" was born out of the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs Industriels et Modernes, held in Paris, which introduced an era of modern 20th century design. The movement's aim was to depart from the heavily ornate Victorian and Art Nouveau styles and express ultramodern form through geometric formality and simplicity. Schoolhouse Electric Co. Art Deco products are not merely inspired by this movement-they are actual reproductions of original Art Deco design. Our Art Deco glass shades are blown into moulds created in the late '20s that helped define this lighting genre. Couple these shades with our Art Deco fixtures to create a distinct look that is not for the timid.

Canopy

The part of the light fixture that attaches onto the ceiling or wall and covers the electrical junction box.

Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs

Compared to incandescent light bulbs, compact fluorescent light bulbs last longer, conserve energy and save money. Fluorescent light typically has dramatic spikes in the green and yellow sections of the color spectrum, which can distort the appearance of our shades and interior paint colors in an undesirable way. In order to avoid light bulbs that give a sickly yellow-green glow, we recommend looking for compact fluorescent bulbs with a high color rendering to ensure that they will illuminate your Schoolhouse glass shade(s) with the warm quality of an incandescent bulb. (Please note that most compact fluorescent bulbs do not work with dimmers.)

Crystal Etched

Clear glass, acid-etched to create an elegant matte finish that softens light.

Cord & Plug

Many of our fixtures can be made with a cord and plug option to work on walls or ceilings without an electrical junction box. Includes six feet of cord and a Bakelite plug.

Damp Rating

Many of our light fixtures are perfect for porches and other sheltered areas. Many building codes require that a fixture have a Damp Rating when used outdoors. For an additional charge we can upgrade fixtures to this rating. Damp-rated fixtures cannot be used in areas exposed directly to precipitation.

Dimmer

A dimmer reduces the amount of light given by a light bulb, simply by reducing the power to the light source. Dimmers are great for enhancing atmosphere and reducing the amount of power used and can extend the life of all incandescent light bulbs. (Please note that compact fluorescent light bulbs typically cannot be dimmed.)

Decorated Shades

Opal glass shades that are hand-decorated with paint and appliqué, using traditional methods. Do not submerge these shades in water.

Electrical Junction Box

In residential construction, permanently mounted electrical boxes that switches and light fixtures should be attached to.

Extended Lengths

We offer our fixtures in a range of standard lengths that fit in most environments, but we realize that you may have a unique situation. For an additional charge per foot, per drop, we can build your fixture to almost any length you need. Please contact our Customer Service Department to discuss construction options and pricing.

Fitter

The lip-shaped part of the shade that slips into the fixture and is held in place by fitter screws. Common fitter sizes (diameters) are 2¼", 3¼", 4" and 6". The fitter and shade holder sizes are the determining factors in pairing fixtures with shades.

GU24 Compact Fluorescent

Most of our fixtures can be built with a click-and-twist GU24 pin-based socket for use with our GU24-base compact fluorescent light bulbs. This two-pin hardwired compact fluorescent option is ideal for customers who want to make a permanent switch to energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs. Traditional screw-in base bulbs will not work with this configuration. This option will satisfy most energy efficient lighting codes and/or tax incentive requirements, such as California's Title 24. Unlike old, clunky hardwired compact fluorescent socket and ballast configurations, the new GU24 twist-and-lock socket design easily allows the user to quickly insert or remove compact fluorescent light bulbs of different wattage with one universal pin base. Please note that most compact fluorescent light bulbs do not work properly on a dimmer and that fixtures built with a GU24 socket cannot be used with incandescent or specialty light bulbs.

Hand-painted Shades

Opal glass shades that are hand-painted according to authentic patterns, designs and colors.

Incandescent Light Bulbs

These familiar household bulbs have been in use for nearly a century. The first incandescent bulbs were made with carbon filaments, but today they are made with tungsten filaments. Incandescent bulbs have excellent color rendering that is biased toward the warm end of the color spectrum, and they illuminate our fixtures beautifully.

Integrated LED

Integrated fixtures are built with an LED engine built into them, so you’ll never have to worry about purchasing or replacing the bulb. Installation is the same as any other fixture, only this time the light source is built into the fixture. LED Engine’s not only reduces energy costs, they also last around 22+ years.

Opal

A white, translucent glass that diffuses and softens light.

Opal Etched

A white glass, acid-etched to create a matte finish that illuminates the shade to a brilliant white.

Pendant Fixtures

Pendant fixtures drop the light source away from the ceiling and down into a space. They are perfect for rooms with high ceilings or in unusual areas such as stairwells or nooks. Pendants are ideal for task lighting, bringing the light source closer to the work area without overlighting the rest of the room. (Pendants are great for a kitchen island or a work table.) By virtue of its simplicity, the pendant is well suited for repetitive groupings. Create a dramatic effect by lining up a row of globes or symmetrically placing multiple fixtures in a grid pattern.

Sconce (see also Wall-mounted Fixture)

We love the sconce! It is a versatile wall-mounted light source that feels at home in every room. Whether an accent light in a dining room or a task light for a bathroom mirror, Schoolhouse Electric Co. produces a sconce for your needs. Consider reintroducing the sconce into the kitchen, where it was once considered essential above the sink.

Shade Holder

The part of a fixture into which the glass shade's fitter is held into place with fitter screws. Common shade holder sizes (diameters) are 2¼", 3¼", 4" and 6". The fitter and shade holder sizes are the determining factors in pairing fixtures with shades.

Specialty Switches

Sometimes you will find lighting locations that are not switched on or off but are always "on" or "hot." We can install a rotary switch or pull chain to most of our fixtures for an additional charge. Please call our Customer Service Department to discuss switch placement and options.

Surface-mounted Fixtures

These types of fixtures mount against the ceiling and hold the glass shade without a lengthy drop. The light source is set higher in the room and provides a brighter overall illumination. Light is controlled by light bulb wattage or dimmer switch. Surface-mounted fixtures are our most basic light fixtures and are well suited for activity areas such as kitchens, baths, bedrooms and hallways. You can learn more about surface mounts in our blog post anatomy of a surface mount.

Vaulted Ceilings

Our pendants can be adapted with double loops to accommodate a sloped or vaulted ceiling.

Wall-mounted Fixture (see also Sconce)

A wall-mounted fixture is often called a sconce. It is a versatile light source that feels at home in every room. Whether an accent light in a dining room or a task light for a bathroom mirror, Schoolhouse Electric Co. produces a sconce for your needs.